Tuesday, March 10, 2009

After a rough morning, a treat

I think it's safe to say that we had a rough morning, the kids and I. Sick babies, finger pricks, throat cultures, and chaotic (but necessary!) errands were all a part of the mix. So in an effort to start fresh, we indulged in an after-lunch treat: neopolitan ice cream cones, yum! Sometimes, everyone needs a little boost :)

What do you do to help turn a rough day around? A trip to the park? A mid-afternoon coffee (for mom)? We'd love to hear!


Amanda said...

We get outside. If it is really hot, I drag out a sprinkler. Rainy? Crappy clothes and rainjackets. If it is just right we pull out a wagon and go around picking up leaves or bugs or flowers. Since I'm in Texas rarely is it too cold. The outdoors always improves my mood and his.

This winter when I didn't want to get out, I often threw a sheet over our dining room table for a tent. It never fails to be a big hit.

Juris Mater said...

Kat, nice post! I'm looking forward to hearing other creative suggestions.

Amanda, I couldn't agree more! We believe that getting outside is the antidote to EVERYTHING, even minor illness most of the time. This is always our first line of defense. Drop everything and get some fresh air.

We turn particularly bad days around with movies, too, especially when the weather is too rough for getting outside. Because movies are pretty rare, my kids absolutely LOVE them, and movies give them a chance to relax physically and take their minds off of their crabbiness. A movie breaks up the downward spiral of a bad day. And, most importantly, it gives me a chance to regroup. Almost any bad day around here can be fixed by an extra super measure of mom patience and cheerfulness, and sometimes I just need a moment to get that! I've stopped feeling guilty about using TV and movies to serve good purposes in the life of our family, and this is one of those good purposes.

And of course caffeine. Diet Dr. Pepper preferably, but coffee will do.

This Heavenly Life said...

Usually on our worst days, I look back and see that it was so bad because I was running around crazy, trying to get things done, and the kids just needed some attention. I'd rather they not get my attention in fit-throwing ways, but if it takes that to make me remember why I'm an at home mom then I'll take it. So my best defense is to drop all the unneccessary cleaning or whatever else I'm doing (ahem..blogging..cough) and just play. Be happy and playful and in the moment.

And yes, outside is best.

Kate E. said...

today it seems to be cinnamon toast with butter and some wild dancing to some old school sesame street songs.

Mary Alice said...

This afternoon demanded a lot of "behave yourself" time for my kids as I dragged them to meetings and office visits. I was feeling overwhelmed at dinner when they were all talking at once until I realized that they had been "shushed" for the last several hours. I had them put on boots over pajamas and go run around for 15 minutes. This gave me the time I needed to regroup and it allowed them to shake out the sillies so that we could have a nice story time before bed.

Music is also a big help, especially Dan Zanes and Laurie Berkner which are kid favorites that I can stand, too, so we put it on and dance and sing.

Moira said...

Dan Zanes and Laurie Berkhner! I knew we were kindred spirits!

moira said...

On days like these, sometimes I get caught in a web of anxiety... I think: if we stay indoors, everything will continue to go downhill. If I put on a show/movie, they will all cry when it's over (transitions are so hard at young ages), if we go outside, they will injure themselves or fight and end up feeling worse. If we go to the park, they will refuse to walk and dissolve in tears when it's time to come home. If we drive somewhere, they will fight over who gets in and out of the car first--or last!
I know it's my fault for worrying over hypotheticals, but I also have plenty of historical data to back me up on most of these hypotheticals...
Diffusing tension with music or humor can help, but mama needs to get to that point first and it ain't easy. I guess sometimes this helps: to think about how blogging about it later will make it all seem hysterically funny.
Any more help? Please?

Kate E. said...

Moira...I understand a lot of your fears (especially about the end of movie time...that is rough in our house right now and the park walking).

But I always say throw them outside. If they get hurt it will be minor, if they fight...it will seem quieter (everything seems quieter outside) and in general there is enough feel of space (even in a small space) that kids tend to just be happier.

Give them some tasks if they need help, I love to be the "construction foreman" I sit on my step and direct construction, like "scoop 3 scoops of leaves into your dump truck, drive it around the lawn chair 2 times and then dump it in the garden".

But my guy also likes to just play by himself.

And truly for indoor time, a dance-a-thon or even better a marching band is a nice release.

When in doubt, a tip from Alice I received, Bathtime can start VERY early and last a LONG time. Everything is better in the bath.

moira said...

thanks, Kate!